Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (or Jackson Hole as it was formally known as) is the extreme snowboarding capital of the USA. The in-bounds terrain at Jackson is rivalled only by some of the European resorts. The resort has the largest lift-accessed vertical rise in the USA at 4,139 ft (1,262 m), and the second largest in North America, behind Whistler/Blackcomb. It is an incredible place which attracts the biggest egos in USA who seem to think that they can come to the resort and tame its endless chutes, cliffs, rocks, bowls, faces and ridges.
In typical Wyoming fashion, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort seems to be lost in time. The cowboy theme runs strong and it is very common to run into characters such as Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carey) from "Dumb and Dumber" and urban cowboys who try to feel a little rugged by dressing up in their million-dollar cowboy outfits.
However, new ownership of the resort has seen a lot of changes including a new name - "Jackson Hole Mountain Resort". With the installation of 9 new lifts, 3 new mountain restaurants and more snow-making, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is on its way to becoming an American super Resort.
Jackson Hole is the home of freeriding in the USA and is one of the only places in North America that is similar to Chamonix in France. The terrain is big and steep with cliffs, chutes, gullies, peaks and trees characterising the landscape. There are probably more in-bound cliffs and chutes at Jackson Hole than any other Title in North America and it's a place which can really put your riding skills to the test.
The infamous Corbet's Couloir is a Jackson Hole landmark and is accessed directly by the Tram, which also accesses most of the expert terrain at Jackson. Overall Jackson Hole definitely offers the best freeriding in North America. After season at Jackson Hole your freeriding ability will increase ten-fold because the runs are longer, steeper and gnarly than anywhere else in the USA. The terrain is consistently pitched with very few flat spots, unlike many other big North American resorts.
The Tram accesses the best terrain on the mountain but is the biggest pain in the butt to ride. On most days you will have to wait in line for anywhere between 20 to 60 minutes to access the summit. Once up the top, you can either stay high on the mountain and ride the upper lifts or head back to the bottom of the tram and wait in line again.
Powder turns: Its no secret, the pick of the powder riding is a run that begins at the summit and takes you through Rendezvous Bowl to Rendezvous Trail to the Hobacks. Although the Hobacks don't open until about 9:30 am, the 4,139 vertical feet you get out of this course will give you Mr Universe thighs. If you want to avoid the Tram, head up the Bridger Gondola and ride the Study Plots and Sundance Bowl under Amphitheatre Traverse. This spot is sheltered, so, when high winds force the Tram to close, this is the spot to be.
Trees: The best tree riding is in Moran Woods off the Casper Chair. Alternatively head to the Mushroom Chutes past Tower Three under Thunder. Also, give the terrain out towards Saratoga Bowl a go.
Early Morning: When the conditions are good, ride the south-facing and lower elevations in the morning as they end up very mogulled by late afternoon. When it's firm, stick to the groomers on the southern faces.
Bad Weather: When the wind is blowing and/or the fog is thick, stay right away from the tram. The last thing you want to do is drop into Corbet's Couloir without realising it. Try any of the runs among the trees from mid-mountain level, down.
Avoiding Crowds: Jackson Hole is an isolated resort and generally doesn't get all that crowded. When the crowds get too heavy, give the terrain out beyond the "Apres Vous" Double Chair a go. Make the traverse to the area boundary towards Saratoga Bowl and enjoy some well-spaced trees in some secluded powder stashes.
Halfpipes: If the natural terrain isn't working, Jackson Hole offers a Superpipe which is shaped by a Super Pipe Dragon and can range from awesome to average, depending on the time of season or how long its been since its last shaping. Most riders don't head to Jackson for it pipe, but rather the incredible natural terrain. However, when the snow is bad, it is good to have the option to ride a good pipe.
Snowboard Parks: Jackson Hole offers a park called "The Track" which has a range of rails and kickers. Probably not at the better end of the spectrum for snowboard parks, the park is good but not at a level on par with some of the Colorado, Utah or Californian resorts.
Natural Hits: The natural landscape of Jackson Hole makes for a freestyler's paradise with tons of little hips, gullies, rocks and cat-tracks to boost some air off. The pick of the runs for the best in freestlye terrain is a long top-to-bottom gully known as the "Gros Ventre". This gully winds its way down the mountain and offers stacks of quarters, hips and drops to have some fun on.
Storms that travel via jet streams from the Pacific continually pound the Grand Teton Mountains with snow. Jackson Hole is blessed with good consistent snowfalls throughout the whole season. Throughout January and February the powder days are frequent. The weather is usually its coldest in January and begins warming up in the following months. Snow will fall regularly through to April which means powder days can extend well into spring.
Teton Village at the Base of Jackson Hole offers a lot of Title type accommodation and the area is continually expanding. However, if you are on a budget, you will probably have more luck finding accommodation in the town of Jackson which is about 20-30 minutes drive away.
Jackson Hole Central Reservations:
Address: P.O. Box 2618, Jackson, WY 83001-2618
Tel: +1 (307) 733-4005
Jackson Hole Web Site: Check the official web site out for a list of accommodation to suit your needs.
The Hostel: Cheapish rooms - Tel: +1 (307) 799-3415
Village Condos: If you are in a group, it may be worth renting a condo. Call these guys for help - Tel: +1 (307) 663-2558
Most normal people (as in non-filthy-rich people) don't stay in Jacksone Hole/Teton Village, but rather stay in the town of Jackson. A bit of a nightlife exists here but in winter it is stunned alittle by the extremely cold temperatures that frequent the town.
Hole in the Wall: The Hole in the Wall Snowboard Shop has recently moved and is located near the Bridger Gondola. Tel: +1 (307) 739-2687.
The Boardroom: Tel: +1 (307) 733-5228
Wyoming is located in the middle of nowehere and Jackson Hole is located even deeper in the middle of nowhere. Its going to cost you more to get to the Wyoming resorts than resorts in Colorado, California, Utah etc.
By Air: Jackson Hole has its own Airport (12.8 km's/8 miles away) but the deals flying into the resort aren't super cheap. You are be better off flying into Idaho Falls about 1.5 hours away and then drive into Jackson. Also, there is a shuttle bus which can take you from Idaho Falls to Jackson. Check out the Airline Schedules on-line.
By Car: From Casper Wyoming - Head west on highway 20, then highway 26, which will lead you straight to Jackson.
From Salt Lake City Utah - Head north on I-15 to highway 26, head east through Teton Pass on highway 31 and you will arrive at Jackson.
Last updated on 02 November 2004.
|Base||110-136 in | 279-345 cm|
|24 Hour Snowfall||No new snow|
|Last Snowfall||Apr 05 - 4 in | 10 cm|
|Previous Snowfall||Apr 03 - 2 in | 5 cm|
|Lifts Open||9 of 12|
|Trails Open||116 of 116|
|Nearby Ski Areas||Alpine Meadows, Aspen Snowmass, Bear Mountain, Beaver Creek, Big Mountain, Big Sky, Bolton Valley, Boreal, Breckenridge, Brighton, Copper Mountain, Crystal Mountain, Grand Targhee, Grizzly Gulch, Jackson Hole, Killington, Kirkwood, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, Mountain Creek, Mt Baker, Mt Snow, Okemo, Park City, Powder Mountain, Salt Lake City, Snow Summit, Snowbasin, Snowbird, Squaw Valley, Steamboat Springs, Stowe, Stratton, Sugar Bowl, The Canyons, Vail, Wachusett, Waterville Valley, Winter Park|
|Report Time||4/5/08 3:40 PM MST|
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